Men at 3 Times Higher Risk of Secondary Fracture Within the First Year

Two studies presented at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2018 Annual Meeting last month specifically addressed men’s bone health and compared their risks with those of women.

Two studies presented at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2018 Annual Meeting last month specifically addressed men’s bone health and compared their risks with those of women.

Researchers discovered that men had a 3-fold higher risk of sustaining a secondary fracture within 1 year of an original fracture compared with those who did not. Conversely, the risk for women with a prior fracture was only 1.8 times higher compared with women without.

The study looked at the risk of subsequent fractures at the hip, spine, forearm, and the upper arm in 17,721 men and 57,783 women over 50 years of age in Canada over a 25-year period (1989-2006). Researchers also found that although the risk of secondary fracture was elevated in both men and women during this time period, it was the highest in the first 3 years following a prior fracture.

“These results underscore the importance of timely recognition of fracture events especially in men, a population in whom secondary prevention is underimplemented. This tells us we should be focusing on anti-fracture strategies early after the fracture event,” said Suzanne Morin, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FACP.

Another study investigated the relationship between different levels of physical activity and bone strength in older men. Researchers evaluated 1000 men with a mean age of 84 years and their time spent doing exercise versus those who were sedentary. The authors found that those who spent more time participating in moderate physical activity and those with greater total activity over a period of 7 years had higher bone strength measures and a subsequent lower risk of fracture.

“These two studies really show the importance of gains in bone mass for both men and women and how bone health and risk of osteoporosis is not just an issue for women,” said Michael Econs, MD, ASBMR. “We need to be vigilant in sharing the benefits of building bone mass for men living longer and who are twice as likely to die within the first year of a hip fracture compared to women.”